Thursday, August 21, 2014
   
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Law Officers Train For Project Lifesaver

(Le Mars) -- Members of the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office and the Le Mars Police Department have been receiving training during the last couple days of how to locate individuals who may wander.  It's part of Project Lifesaver, and its a program that utilizes a radio transmitter signal to help find those individuals that may suffer from dementia, Alzheimer's, autism, or other developmental disorders.  Neil Johnson is with the St. Croix County Wisconsin sheriff's office.  Johnson has been training the local law enforcement agencies and explains the program.
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Individuals in long-term care facilities or other special needs facilities would be fitted with a transmitter about the size of a watch that could be worn on their wrist.  If that individual would happen to wander away from the facility, the care unit could contact the local law enforcement agency to assist with the search.

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Johnson has taught 26 agencies in the use of the equipment.  He says the training sessions have all gone well and the local law enforcement agencies participated in five simulated searches on Wednesday morning, with each search scattered around Le Mars at various points.


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Plymouth County has acquired two hand-held units and according to Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo, he is pursuing a grant in order to have a third unit.  Van Otterloo says 11 counties within northwest Iowa are already equipped with the locator technology.

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